I saw a very interesting quote this morning on Facebook courtesy of Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton:
We call it Jesus’ Transfiguration...it actually might be more accurate to call this the story of the transfiguration of the three apostles...suddenly they, too, were filled with this light: lighting their lives, lighting the darkness of their pasts, lighting their hopes and dreams and confusion and fears about the future. Suddenly the dim mirror through which they had been seeing life became clear. They saw. They understood. It fit. Everything fit. Everything was okay.-Br. Curtis Almquist
I think this is almost accurate. Almost because, of course, if they had really been fully transfigured in their thinking then I would have to believe there would have been a very different outcome at Jesus' time of trial. A transfigured Peter would have been braver than he was in the moment in Pilate's garden.
Still, we know from the Gospel of Luke that upon hearing the booming voice in the cloud announce "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!", the three men did not speak a word of what they'd experienced to anyone. They didn't run down the mountain and say, "Hey--guess what just went down with Jesus!!" Probably a good idea to keep that underwraps until the time was right to tell.
What I get from Br. Almquist's analysis is that each one of us when we encounter Christ as revealed in that amazing light are changed. Much like when Moses came down from the mountain with the bright, shiny face, we, too, may manifest a physical, or at least a visible spiritual, change when we have felt the contact of God in our lives that up close. I have had friends say to me more than once, "You've changed!" And I have. They haven't always liked those changes initially. I have certainly felt gangly and awkward as I have gone through some spiritual growth spurts. But the growing I'm doing feels as though I am becoming fuller, deeper, and with roots that allow me to drink from many things to get a greater idea about this creation I am a part of with God.
Transfigured? A little. But the alchemist is still melting and pounding away at the edges. I think that's the space Peter, John and James found themselves in when they descended from the mountain after witnessing something too awe-inspiring to adequately describe. Here's hoping that everyone has a moment or three like that in God.